Remember when I said to keep on the lookout for lots of Android at this fall’s CTIA? The show floor doesn’t open until tomorrow, but there’s already news: Verizon and Google announced this morning plans to co-develop a series of Android devices, the first on Verizon’s network.
In a webcast this morning, Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s CEO, left open the possibility for collaborating not just on handsets, but subsidized netbooks as well. Google and Verizon did not announce which OEMs will make these devices, but Boy Genius reports that Motorola may be involved in an upcoming handset that could land as soon as October 30th. Update: Gizmodo spotted an HTC Android device as well.
In addition to running the OS, Verizon Wireless will cleanly integrate with Google’s apps and services, including Google Voice, a direct shot at AT&T and Apple, which do not offer the app on the iPhone.
Android Marketplace will also come installed so that users will have easy access to a growing body of third-party apps.
Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, said the company chose Verizon because its size and reliability ensure that consumers have the bandwidth they need to use Android’s myriad applications and services. Meanwhile, Verizon– and this is our take– gets snazzier devices than it’s been reputed to offer, among them (the two partners would hope) a possible competitor for the AT&T/Apple behemoth.
For Android’s part, Verizon choosing it cements it as the standard Linux OS (as if we didn’t know that already). When asked about the other platforms it’s already pushed heavily– RIM and, especially, Windows Mobile– Verizon responded that smart phones have come to account for 40 percent of its phone lineup, meaning for now, there’s room for everyone.
That can’t be true of Linux OSes, however. Although Verizon did not address our question about its previous investment in the LiMo Foundation, we suspect that– and LiMo’s prospects on Verizon, or any other carrier’s network– are dead.
McAdam said that consumers won’t have to wait until Verizon rolls out 4G service to see these products; we can expect to hear the first news about this family of products within the next several weeks.